In many parts of the world, entrepreneurship is viewed as one of the pillars enabling communities to increase their well-being. This can be seen in countries with a strong culture of entrepreneurship. However, the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2017 places 27 of the 30 sub-Saharan countries in the bottom 25 per cent of the index. And the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s country profiles show the challenges to develop innovative, high-growth start-ups to create jobs and address poverty and underemployment in Africa.
To better harness their potential, sub-Saharan African countries need to improve enterprise networks to provide the required business start-up skills. This is essential for the Christian community in Africa as well.
Communities around churches are often poor and, in some cases, are becoming even poorer because there are few wealth creators in the churches. Could it be that church leaders should not only focus on the spiritual growth of their members, but assist them with business support, wealth creation and self-empowerment? Is there a theological rationale for such an approach?
Unfortunately, according to Mercy Amba Oduyoye, a Ghanaian Methodist theologian, Christianity has not always made much impact on the economy in Africa. In fact, it is more likely to be associated with those who came to exploit, steal and kill. If this statement is true, we cannot start soon enough to think seriously about how the African church can play a more significant role in the sustainable economic development of Africa.